1NT opening with a singleton
The following is a reprint from The ACBL Club Managers Newsletter, May, 1998. Perhaps it will help to clarify this controversial issue.
An issue related to this discussion is the difference between a psych and a deviation. Any call that deliberately and grossly misstates either honor strength or suit length is by definition a psych. Such calls are legal unless they are excessive, random, or frivolous to the point that they disrupt the game.
A deviation is a holding which is either within one card of promised length or within a queen of promised strength (defined by Don Oakie in the ACBL Bulletin, Feb., 1978). Deviations are not psychs.
Furthermore, Law 75 states that "a player may violate an announced partnership agreement, so long as his partner is unaware of the violation." In other words, it's OK to make a non-conforming call if you fool your partner as well as the opponents. However, Law 75 goes on to say that that "habitual violations may create implicit agreements, which must be disclosed."
Now all of the forgoing discussion concerned itself with the legalities of various non-conforming calls. Whether it's good bridge, however, is another question, and largely a matter of individual style. While most good players are willing to take the risk of misleading their partner when the situation calls for it, consistently lying to one's partner seems to undermine the whole purpose of establishing a system to begin with. But that's just my opinion; I could be wrong.--D.B.
Opening leads against no-trump
It's usually pretty easy to count out a hand when you're defending against a no-trump contract. Assume the middle of the opener's NT range (e.g., 16 points if his range is 15-17), then add dummy's points. Let's say dummy has 10 points. Therefore, the declaring side holds 26. Now add your points, and subtract that total from 40 to figure out what your partner holds. For example:
Declarer: 16 pts.
Subtracting 35 from 40, you discover (unhappily) that your partner has only 5 points.*
Now you know how your partnership's strength is distributed. Here are some guidelines to help you decide which suit to lead:
These ideas are paraphrased from The
Fun Way to Advanced Bridge by Harry Lampert. Through the use of amusing
cartoons, simple charts, and plain-speaking text, the author presents bridge
concepts in a way that won't make you bleary-eyed by page 5. Among many other
topics, he covers strip-and-end plays, squeezes, uppercuts, slam bidding, and a
number of useful conventions. Included is a summary of The Fun Way to Serious
Bridge for those who need a refresher. Highly recommended for developing players
who want to cut to the chase.
When to say "no" to "second hand low"
"Second hand low, although sound advice, is only a guideline...You should play second hand high in order to:
Marty Bergen presents the above defensive tip in his book Points Schmoints! Bergen's Winning Bridge Secrets. Discover more indispensable strategies in this modern bridge classic.
The object of the game is get the Rocks to pass through the
gates to the bottom. Each rock which makes it to the bottom will increase your
score by one. Enter the rocks in the top green starting lanes by clicking in the
green lane you wish to start with. You and the computer will take turns adding
rocks to the board. If two or more rocks fall through to the bottom in a single
turn, the player gets another turn. Change the values under the "My
Search" heading the make the game more or less challenging. (I can win only
at Level 1.)
Support doubles and redoubles
"This very popular convention is used to distinguish between three-card and four-card raises of responder's suit:
Double above shows three-card heart support--it says nothing about spades. A raise to 2H shows four-card support.
When opener wants to penalize the overcaller, he must pass and hope that responder balances with a Competitive Double.
Redouble shows three-card spade support , and the raise to 2S shows four-card support."
More than 120 conventions are concisely described in Conventions at a Glance by Pamela Granovetter. A must-have reference for any serious bridge player!
Planning a suit contract
"When you count losers and can't find any way to make the contract, switch and count winners. Sometimes counting the other way helps you to see a line of play you missed. It is better to count winners in certain trump contracts: (1)when you have a solid or nearly-solid side suit, (2) when you have a pure cross-ruff and want to make your trumps separately; (3) when you're in a low-level contract."
This advice comes from Bridge Made Easy : How to Win More Tricks by Caroline Sydnor. The author covers all aspects of declarer play in a format that's interesting and easy to understand. A terrific value for the developing player.
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